Tag Archives: Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Justice for BC Grizzlies & Kyle Artelle’s Interview on CBC Radio’Aug17’16

AmberbyV.MurrayMay'16

BC Almanac – CBC Radio One

Host: Chris Walker

August 17, 2016

Podcast Link: https://t.co/4wyjKaL4XX  Interview with Justice for BC Grizzlies’Val Murray and others starts at 17:20min mark.

Chris Walker:

Some people believe it’s barbaric. For some though it’s a sport. Hunting grizzly bears is a contentious issue in BC. It is legal. Some conservationists think it should be banned. Organizations like Raincoast and Justice for BC Grizzly Bears want to put pressure on the BC Liberals to ban the hunting of these predators. We’d like to hear from you now. Do you hunt for sport? Do you think hunting should remain legal and regulated when it comes to bears, or other animals for that matter? Maybe you think the trophy hunting for grizzly bears should be banned. Maybe not. Give us a call and let us know what you think, around the province. 1-800-825-5950. In the Lower mainland 604-669-3733. On your cell phone * or # 690. You can also tweet us, by the way, at BC Almanac or @ChrisWalkercbc.

We’ve got three quests on the line with us today. We’re joined by Kyle Artelle. He’s a Raincoast Foundation Conservationist and PhD Biology candidate at Simon Fraser University. Good afternoon, Kyle. We’re also joined in our studio in Kelowna by a spokesperson for the BC Wildlife Federation, Jesse Zeman. Good afternoon, Jesse. And finally, we have on the line Val Murray from Justice for BC Grizzlies. Good afternoon, Val. And Val, we’ll start with you. Tell us a bit about Justice for BC Grizzlies and what you’re looking for from the provincial government.

VM: Sure. You bet! Justice for BC Grizzlies is a grassroots movement of concerned citizens and what we want is for the hunt of grizzly bears to become an election issue. And we are galvanizing BC voters around the province; we’re having a really good response. The social consciousness in the province is changing and we’re going to capitalize on that between now and the election.

CW: And why are you opposed to the hunt?

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Press Release May 11, 2015: New Research Shows Habitat Loss Driving (B.C.) South Peace Caribou Towards Extinction!

Caribou Photo 1

Eight environmental groups, Valhalla Wilderness Society, Pacific Wild, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Wilderness Committee, Wildlife Defence League, The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, Wolf Awareness Inc., and
Bears Matter, applaud a recently published scientific report that reveals how much habitat the caribou in the South Peace region have lost.

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Opinion: B.C. government wants grizzly bears dead

Province could buy out hunting tenures and create world’s largest reserve

By Chris Genovali, Special to the Vancouver Sun April 14, 2014
A grizzly bear feeds along a river in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park near Bella Coola.  Photograph by: Jonathan Hayward , THE CANADIAN PRESS

A grizzly bear feeds along a river in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park near Bella Coola. Photograph by: Jonathan Hayward , THE CANADIAN PRESS

We want these bears dead. This is the message the B.C. government’s “reallocation policy” sends to the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, to British Columbians, and to the world.

This policy also prevents the implementation of an innovative solution to end the commercial trophy hunting of grizzlies and other large carnivores throughout the Great Bear Rainforest.

With the mismanaged, and some would say depraved, B.C. grizzly bear hunt having commenced this month, the controversy surrounding the recreational killing of these iconic animals is spiking once again.

A hard-won Raincoast-led moratorium on grizzly hunting in B.C. was overturned in 2001 by Gordon Campbell’s newly elected Liberal government with no justification other than serving as an obvious sop to the trophy hunting lobby. So, what was supposed to be a three-year provincewide ban was revoked after one spring hunting season. Raincoast, recognizing the then-new premier’s mulish intractability on this issue, decided to take a different approach.

Raincoast raised $1.3 million in 2005 to purchase the commercial trophy hunting rights across 24,700 square kilometres of the Great Bear Rainforest. Raincoast purchased an additional 3,500 square kilometres in 2012, including nearly all the habitat of the spirit bear (despite a restriction on killing spirit bears, trophy hunting of black bears that carry the recessive gene that causes the white coat is allowed). The sellers of these hunting tenures received a fair price, bears were safeguarded, and ecotourism prospered, including within coastal First Nations communities.

The province has countered by instituting a so-called reallocation policy (a.k.a. the Raincoast policy), whereby unused (not killed) grizzly bear “quota” would be stripped from Raincoast’s commercial tenures and allocated to resident hunters (B.C. residents who do not require a licensed hunting guide by law).

Bereft of any legitimate argument to justify the recreational killing of grizzlies, provincial wildlife managers stand naked in front of an increasingly disgusted and disapproving public, their blatant cronyism on behalf of the trophy hunting lobby exposed for all to see.

The ecological argument is clear: killing bears for “management” purposes is unnecessary and scientifically unsound. Although attempts are made to dress the province’s motivations in the trappings of proverbial “sound science,” they are clearly driven by an anachronistic ideology that is disconcertingly fixated on killing as a legitimate and necessary tool of wildlife management.

Dr. Paul Paquet, senior scientist at Raincoast and co-author of a recently published peer-reviewed paper on B.C. bear management, states: “We analyzed only some of the uncertainty associated with grizzly management and found it was likely contributing to widespread overkills. I’m not sure how the government defines sound science, but an approach that carelessly leads to widespread overkills is less than scientifically credible.”

The ethical argument is clear: gratuitous killing for recreation and amusement is unacceptable and immoral. Polling shows that nine of 10 British Columbians agree, from rural residents (including many hunters) to city dwellers. In their 2009 publication, The Ethics of Hunting, Drs. Michael Nelson and Kelly Millenbah state if wildlife managers began “to take philosophy and ethics more seriously, both as a realm of expertise that can be acquired and as a critical dimension of wildlife conservation, many elements of wildlife conservation and management would look different.”

The economic argument is clear. Recent research by Stanford University identifies that bear-viewing supports 10 times more employment, tourist spending, and government revenue than trophy hunting within the Great Bear Rainforest. Notably, the Stanford study suggests the revenue generated by fees and licences affiliated with the trophy killing of grizzlies fails to cover the cost of the province’s management of the hunt. As a result, B.C. taxpayers, most of whom oppose the hunt according to poll after poll, are in essence forced to subsidize the trophy killing of grizzlies.

What remains unknown is why the B.C. government so desperately wants these bears dead.

Raincoast stands ready to raise the funds to acquire the remaining commercial hunting tenures in the Great Bear Rainforest, a mutually beneficial solution that guide outfitters have indicated they will not oppose. Although the province, at its political peril, has failed to recognize it, Coastal First Nations have banned trophy hunting under their laws throughout their unceded territories, and the public is overwhelmingly supportive.

Buying out the remaining hunting tenures in the Great Bear Rainforest, coupled with the administrative closure of resident hunting in the region, would create the largest grizzly bear reserve in the world and a model for sustainable economic activity.

Chris Genovali is executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation.